Our Ancestors Knew How to Sleep

Scientists used to believe that sleep was a constant, or that rest never varied over time and place. It was never imagined to not sleep continuously during the night. However, researchers discovered that humans used to sleep in intervals a long time ago, where the first sleep and second sleep was separated by a few hours to pray, eat or chat. Continuous sleeping through the whole night was a trend that came to existence only a couple hundred years ago, studies show. 

These studies have been suggesting new perspectives on what provides a good night sleep. This research is important because Ekirch, a university distinguished professor in the department of history and Virginia Tech explained that he’s convinced “a large number of people who today suffer from middle-of-the-night insomnia, the primary sleep disorder in the United States — and I dare say in most industrialized countries — rather than experiencing a quote unquote, disorder, are in fact, experiencing a very powerful remnant, or echo of this earlier pattern of sleep.” 

With this research, scientists have discovered that sleeping with intervals may increase the probability of getting a deeper sleep. CNN reports, “If we wake up at night, sleep is likely to return, if sleep is not sacrificed to social media or other behavior that makes you more alert or activates a stress response.” However, everyone’s sleep is so diverse that one method for deeper sleep does not work. What doctors do recommend is to sleep on the right side of the body before twisting to the left because during your first sleep, the sleeping on the right side allows food to flow to the stomach and digest, and the left side can release vapors.

Categories: Clinical